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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

322                                        ETYMOLOGY  OF LOCAL STAKES.
or homesteads. Though Christianity is a modem faith as compared with Hin-
duism, and though the history of English civilization begins only from a time
when the brightest period of Indian history had already closed, the material
evidences of either fact are found in inverse order in the two countries. There
is not a single English county which does not contain a longer and more
venerable series of secular and ecclesiastical edifices than can be supplied by
an Indian district^ or it might even be said by an entire Presidency. Thus the
temple of Govind D©va at Briada-ban? which is popularly known in the neigh-
bourhood as 'the old temple* par excellence, dates only from the reign of Akbar,
the contemporary of Elizabethj and is therefore far more modern than any
single Tillage church in the whole of England, barring those that have been
built since the revival by the present generation. The same also with MSS.
The Hindus itad a voluminous literature while the English were still unable to
write ; but at the present day in India a MS 200 years old is more of a rarity
than one five times that age in England. This complete disappearance from
iihe surface of all material records of antiquity is no doubt attributable in great
measure to the operation of the two most destructive forces in the known
vorld, viz.) wMte-ants and Muhammadans ; but the Hindus themselves are not
altogether free from blame in the matter. As if from a reminiscence of their
nomadic origin, with all their modern superstitious dislike to a move far from
iiome, is aombined an inveterate tendency to slip away gradually from the old
landmarks. The movement is not necessitated by growth of population, whicls,
as in London, for instance, cam no longer be contained, within the original city
bounds, but is a result of the Oriental idiosyncracy that makes every man
desire, not—in accordance with European ideas—to found a family or restore an
old ancestral residence, but rather to leave some building exclusively comme-
morative of himself, and to touch nothing that Ms predecessors have commenced,
lest they should have all the credit of it with posterity. The history of Eng-
-which, runs afl in one cycle from the time of its first civilizations affords
no              fat comparison 5 but in mediaeval Italy the course of events was
parallel, and, as in India, a second empire was built rp on the rains
of a             one of aqua! or greater grandeur and extent   In it we find the
retaining under some slight dialectical disguises the very same
as of old and occupying the same ground: in India? on the other hand,, there
is scarcely an Mstoric site which is not now a desolation. • Again, to pass &®m
political to merely local disturbances: when London was rebuilt after the Great
Ike, its            in spite of all Wren's remonstrances, were laid out exactly as
and irregular as they had grown up piece by piece in the eoum